________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 20 . . . .May 25, 2007


Travel With Chirp: Comics, Jokes, Games, and More Travelling Fun!

Bob Kain.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Publishing, 2007.
24 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-2-89579-139-3.

Subject Headings:
Games-Juvenile literature.
Games for travellers-Juvenile literature.
Puzzles-Juvenile literature.
Wit and humour, Juvenile.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

** /4



Joking around with Chirp

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Howard who?
Howard you like to take a trip with me?


Most readers will recognize Chirp as being the name of the youngest, audience-wise, of the trio of magazines published by Owlkids, the other two being ChickaDEE and OWL. Readers who know Chirp will also recognize Bob Cain as being the illustrator of the magazine's namesake, the little yellow bird known as Chirp. Although I'm a big fan of the magazines and subscribe to them for my granddaughters and a friend's son, I have to admit to being disappointed in Travel With Chirp. My disappointment is not with the quality of the content but rather with its quantity. Given the book's price, there simply isn't enough,. For example, a double page spread, or almost 10 percent of the book's length, is used just to tell the knock-knock joke found in the excerpt above. Nearly half of the book's 21 pages are taken up by five two-page, eight-panel cartoon "stories" featuring Chirp. The book's remaining nine pages include two that offer suggestions for three games that can be played while travelling, with one being:

Count Up the Fun

Tell everyone in your family to choose a different colour. Then count all the things you can spy in that colour. See who can find the most things in ten minutes.

     Another two facing pages contain six riddles while another pair have the lyrics for three songs: Chirp (To the tune of B-I-N-G-O), The Piglet in the Pen (To the tune of The Wheels on the Bus) and an action song, Do Your Ears Hang Low?, for which no tune is provided. The final page pair offers three activities that can be engaged in while travelling. One of the suggestions is:

Fantastic Finger Plays

Turn your fingers into actors. Draw faces on your fingertips with a washable marker. Then, put on a puppet show. If you want to start a new play, just wipe your hands clean and draw some new characters.

     The final page invites youngsters to create their own daily postcards which they can then just keep as souvenirs or they can mail one to themselves or to Chirp who promises to write back providing a home address is supplied.

      If Travel With Chirp was a meal, I would have to say that I enjoyed its flavours, but I definitely left the table still hungry.

Recommended with reservations.

Dave Jenkinson teaches in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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